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Woolmark in Prada Cup win

Australian wool is set to gain popularity from the high seas as the Woolmark sponsored Italian yacht wins the Prada Cup challenger series.

The event, held from January 15 to February 22 in Auckland New Zealand, determines which of the challenger teams will take on the defender Emirates Team New Zealand in the 36th America’s Cup to be held from March 6 to 21.

To win the America’s Cup first requires a win in the Prada Cup.

The Italian Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli yacht sailed to victory in the Prada Cup final.

The Italians winning the series seven to one against the British challenger in New Zealand.

Australian Wool Innovation chief executive Stuart McCullough was very pleased.

“Australian woolgrowers are reaping the benefits of linking up with the Italian challenger for the America’s Cup,” he said.

“AWI’s distinctive Woolmark logo is on the sails of the Luna Rosa Prada Pirelli team and premium Australian Merino wool is a key ingredient of the team’s uniform on and off water.”

Mr McCullough said it was a fantastic opportunity to promote Australian wool in one of the world’s most famous sporting events.

Australian competitor Jimmy Spithill wears a sailing uniform incorporating Australian Merino wool.
Camera IconAustralian competitor Jimmy Spithill wears a sailing uniform incorporating Australian Merino wool. Credit: Supplied

“We are especially proud to be part of a team where Australian sailor Jimmy Spithill plays such a key role,” he said.

Sydney based Spithill has won two America’s Cup victories and is co-helmsman of the yacht.

Mr McCullough said the objective of the partnership was to put wool in an unexpected context and in a performance context.

“Wool is most often thought of as a formal fabric, this partnership is about getting wool into new areas and as a result create new demand,” he said.

“Even with the outer layer, which may not be associated with wool, we have created some quirky content of the sailors standing in the shower and remaining dry.”

Mr McCullough said the impact of COVID had been an advantage because there was less sport on television so in terms of the global audience, the America’s Cup series was beating benchmarks.

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